Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Diageo takes over Meta this week

The world’s largest distiller, Diageo Plc, is to commence taking over Meta Abo Brewery, the last remaining state brewery, beginning this coming Monday, December 5. On Tuesday November 29 the Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency (PPESA), which is the accountable office for state owned enterprises, and Diageo sealed the deal to transfer the brewery.


In early September Diageo, with an outstanding portfolio of alcohol beverage brands across spirits, beer and wine, based in London, offered the highest amount to acquire Meta.

The prominent brewery offered 225 million dollars to acquire Meta, the second most dominant brewery in the country. After PPESA’s board approved the bid process for Diageo, the company concluded the first 30% down payment in the middle of October. According to Brook Worku, country representative of Diageo, the handing over process will take over three weeks from the coming Monday. “One week before the handing over process is completed we will conclude the balance payment as per the deal,” Brook added.

The giant beverage producer has targeted aggressively to expand the market share of Meta beer after it takes it over. Diageo’s beer brand that used to be imported in the country will now be produced here, although specific time has not yet been disclosed from Diageo officials.

Internationally Diageo has over 25 branded beers including Guinness, Smirnoff and Pilsner.

Meta Abo, established in 1967 in the western outskirts of Addis Ababa around Sebeta town, has a production capacity of 600,000 hectolitres per annum, having undertaken three expansions since its establishment. Sources said that the quality of local brands will be the first phase when Diageo takes full control of the brewery.

The location of Meta in the central part of the country is strategic for the beer market.

Diageo’s brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Windsor, Buchanan’s and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo operates production and distribution facilities that include malting, distilleries, breweries, packaging plants, maturation warehouses, cooperages, vineyards, wineries and distribution warehouses.

In a one year report that ended in June 2011, the company’s net profit rose to 1.9 billion pounds from 1.6 billion pounds a year earlier. Net sales rose to 9.9 billion pounds, the distiller’s annual report indicated.